Will I ever forget it, that mythical night:
in the blaze of the setting sun
an abyss divided the sky in two
and the street lamps came on one by one.
I sat in a crowd by the window while somewhere
an orchestra sang about love;
I sent you a rose in a glass of champagne
as gold as the heavens above.
Returning your arrogant look with a mixture
of pride and confusion, I bowed;
with studied disdain you turned to your escort:
‘That one, too, is in love with me now.’
All at once the ecstatic strings thundered out
in response… But still I could see
from your show of contempt, from the tremor that shook
your hand, that your thoughts were with me.
You jumped up from your place with the speed of a bird
that’s been startled; your languid perfume,
the swirl of your dress as you passed, died away
like a vision that’s over too soon.
But out of its depths a mirror reflected
your glance as you cried: ‘Now’s your chance!’
And a gypsy, jangled her beads, sang of love
to the dawn and started to dance.
by Александр Александрович Блок (Alexander Alexandrovich Blok)
translated by Stephen Capus